Let’s be honest here. We love space adventures. Always have, always will. We are captivated by the sight of magnificent star-ships against the endless expanse of outer space spanning in every direction in the backdrop. The very romanticism of exploring uncharted worlds, unexplained cosmic mysteries and a group of free-willed sojourners who have heart to fight hostile planetarians, are the perfect ingredients for a classic Clarke-ian space odyssey. And this is exactly what we look for as an audience, don’t we ?
The very romanticism of exploring uncharted worlds, unexplained cosmic mysteries and a group of free-willed sojourners who have heart to fight hostile planetarians, are the perfect ingredients for a classic Clarke-ian space odyssey.
This very feeling of good old-fashioned sci-fi is what differentiates Star Trek from Star Wars. When on one hand Star Wars builds its stories on a scale which is immense with complicated intertwining stories with an intermittent inter-galactic power struggle at its core, Star Trek is much more grounded in its approach to tell a story. This is probably one of the reasons why the prequels to Star Wars did not garner too much fan-appreciation (and almost ended Hayden Christensen‘s career) as did the ones from the Mark Hamill era. The prequels had too much political manipulation than actual space action, to put it bluntly.
When on one hand Star Wars builds its stories on a scale which is immense with complicated intertwining stories with an intermittent inter-galactic power struggle at its core, Star Trek is much more grounded in its approach to tell a story.
Coming to this franchise, the first two films Star Trek and Star Trek : Into Darkness directed by acclaimed sci-fi proponent and director J J Abrams, were widely praised for a faithful adaptation of the original American TV series. Abrams was successful in creating an engaging story with a great cast satisfying the fastidious Spock fans with the very talented Zachary Quinto filling in the late Nemoy‘s shoes with ease. However, the first two instalments unintentionally carried a larger than life Hollywood character – big cameos and a somewhat dark plot.
Director Justin Lin‘s Star Trek Beyond, however, pleasantly brings us back to the very essence of what we know Star Trek to be. Captain James T Kirk is satisfied with his life, as he narrates his profound respect for his crew and his work as Starship Enterprise sails through space in one of its five year missions. Kirk is approached by the federation with an offer to take up the Vice Admiral’s position owing to his exemplary career in the Star Fleet. However, in an opportune moment they find themselves in the middle of an emergency rescue mission for a ship trapped in a nebula near a faraway planet. This very simple mission and plot felt like a breath of fresh breeze accompanied by some good old-fashioned humour from Scotty and McCoy. We are not going to talk about the plot at all here and deprive you of the pleasure but it would suffice to say here that its every bit as exciting as you would expect. There was not one single dull moment! The pace was swift, action-packed and equal parts funny at exactly the right moments. Every single character starting from our beloved Captain Kirk to Spock to Uhura to McCoy to Scotty, were amazingly written with a well-balanced screen space and plot-contribution.
Interestingly, we watched it with a friend who had never watched Star Trek before – neither the series nor the movies. With a little bit of convincing and a crash course about the characters, she agreed to come on this geek fest but boy did she have fun ! In her own words – “It didn’t feel like I was seeing the characters for the first time. The chemistry between them was amazing. Captain Kirk was exactly as I had thought he would be and the same goes for Spock. I enjoyed every bit of it !”
That comment kind of summarises Star Trek Beyond for us. The packaging was clean and complete in itself. There were subtle hints to Spock’s past but besides that the story was self-sufficient. The introduction and pacing was good enough for a first-timer to start caring about the characters and know them by the end of it. That’s the very soul of a Trekkie in the making !
gobblpoint: Watch it for a good old space adventure with some awesome space sequences and a very gripping story !
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